“Can I combine everything?” I get asked questions like this all the time. Clients want to know how they can balance a lifestyle that supports their physical, spiritual, and mental health while also doing the things they enjoy and living their best lives. My favorite part of my job is that I get to tell these individuals that finding this balance is possible, it just takes a little practice. To make this possible for you, I created 3 simple reminders you can use when you are struggling to find the balance between habits that support your overall health and habits that support a lifestyle you enjoy.
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”-Jenna Kingsford
1. That the “all or nothing” approach does not work
What I mean by the “all or nothing” approach is the idea that you have to be “good” or follow the rules/guidelines 100% of the time or else it’s not worth it. (Spoiler alert: this does not work and sets you up to fail.) I see this happen a lot when it comes to habits that revolve around movement. For example, forcing yourself to do a workout you don’t enjoy because you think a walk around the neighborhood is not “good enough.” If you relate to this, I want you to keep the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 Rule) in mind. The Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results, meaning that 2 out of 10 to-do items/habits will be more impactful than the other 8 items put together. The moral of the story, pick 2 (yes – only 2) things that you can start working on today that bring you one step closer to your best life.
2. Prioritize the things you enjoy
Speaking of habits that greatly impact your life, it’s very important that you prioritize the things you enjoy when figuring out how your health-related habits fit into your lifestyle. When we prioritize the things we enjoy it makes the habits we are creating more sustainable and therefore easier to add into our day-to-day routines. So, thinking back to the Pareto Principle, how can you make sure the habits that will impact your life in the biggest way are also enjoyable? My suggestion would be to make sure each habit/goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) while also being enjoyable.
3. Take it slow
When finding the balance between habits that support your overall health and habits that support a lifestyle you enjoy, you must start out slow. I suggest taking those SMART goals/habits and implementing them one by one (think baby steps here). This will allow you to see what works for you and how these habits fit into your day-to-day routine. It will also help you quickly identify which habits might not be right. For example, if adding more color to your diet is a habit you want to incorporate, I suggest you start by brainstorming which meal/snack would be the easiest for this to happen at. After you pick the meal/snack, brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies (aka color) you enjoy eating and see which ones fit and make you feel the best. Continue to use this approach until you find the balance that is right for you!
Again, I created these 3 simple reminders for you to use when you are struggling to find the balance between habits that support your overall health and habits that support a lifestyle you enjoy. Want to learn more about setting goals that actually stick? Check out my post titled The Secret to Setting Goals: 3 Tips That Will Help Make Your Dreams a Reality.